Contemporary Medical Acupuncture – How It Works and What Are The Effects

Often when I see a new patient here at the clinic, I discuss different options of treatment that I can provide for them. One modality that I use very often is contemporary medical acupuncture. In my experience, the contemporary medical acupuncture (CMA) works well for individuals who are experiencing acute or chronic pain. Here’s a brief overview of what CMA is and what the intended objectives/effects are.

Contemporary medical acupuncture (CMA) is the science- and evidence-based form of acupuncture. A CMA provider goes through a careful examination and decides on a selection of acupuncture points, which focuses on restoring an individual to optimal function. A fellow CMA provider, Dr. Rashaad Nauth-Ali puts it in the simplest way to convey what the objective and physiological effects of contemporary medical acupuncture are as follows:

1. Analgesics (Pain-Relief) - It helps to raise the pain threshold to treat individuals with pain disorders such as back pain, arthiritis, etc.

2. Sedation - Caused by a decrease in delta and theta waves. This helps treat individuals with insomnia, anxiety, addictions, and behavioural problems.

3. Homeostatic/Regulatory Effect - Regulates and balances our parasympathetic (rest and digest) and sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous systems.

4. Immune-enhancing Effects - Increases the body’s antibodies.

5. Psychological Effects - Calming effects from the mid-brain’s reticular formation. Increases the release of dopamine for a positive, “feel good” effect.

6. Motor Recovery - Aids in the recovery of a patient through a bio-feedback mechanism at the spinal cord and also within the brain.

By achieving these objectives, the acupuncture enhances the effects of chiropractic treatment and the healing rate of an individual so they can quickly return to optimal function.

See also Canadian Contemporary Acupuncture Association – How It Works